Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake – With a moist, peppermint and coffee infused chocolate cake, to die for peppermint frosting and crushed candy canes! The perfect cake for Christmas.

close up slice of cake with fork taking a bite

This Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake tastes like a peppermint mocha in cake form! If you’ve made my Best Vegan Chocolate Cake, you will be happy to hear this cake is very similar.

Instead of adding hot water, I subbed hot coffee plus a little peppermint extract. The incredibly delicious frosting is a version of my Vegan Vanilla Frosting recipe, with peppermint extract added.

Sprinkle some crushed candy canes on top and you are ready to celebrate!

whole peppermint mocha cake with a slice being removed

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piece of cake on a white plate with crushed candy canes

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close up slice of cake with fork taking a bite
4.93 stars (55 ratings)

Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake

Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake - With a moist, peppermint and coffee infused chocolate cake, to die for peppermint frosting and crushed candy canes! The perfect cake for Christmas.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 16 servings


The Cake

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee

Peppermint Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crushed candy canes


For the Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch cake pans. I also line them with parchment rounds for easy removal of the cakes later.
  • Measure 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and add the tablespoon of vinegar to it. Stir slightly and set aside to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • Now add the oil, applesauce, vanilla, peppermint and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until well combined. 
  • Lower the speed and carefully pour in the hot coffee, continuing to mix into the cake batter until combined. The batter will seem very runny at this point; that is how it should be, trust me!
  • Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting & Decorating

  • In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.
  • With the mixer on low-medium speed, add the non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla and peppermint as well, and increase the speed to high. Beat for about 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.
  • If the frosting seems too thick, you can add more non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the frosting is too thin and runny, simply add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost the cake and decorate with crushed candy canes as desired. I like to put a sprinkle of crushed candy canes in the middle layer of the cake as well. Enjoy!


  1. I recommend using dark cocoa powder, such as Hershey's Special Dark if you can, it makes the cake darker and so pretty. But regular cocoa powder will work as well, your cake will just be lighter in color.
  2. I used Earth Balance brand of vegan butter. I prefer the sticks, but the tub will work. You could also use another brand such as Melt, Miyokos or even vegetable shortening if you can't find vegan butter.
  3. I found crushed candy canes in the bulk section at my local store, but you can crush them yourself using a ziplock bag and something heavy, like a cup. Just pound away until you have little candy cane pieces.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 539IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. This cake is undeniably delicious! It just tastes so exquisite and home made. It is the quintessential Christmas cake! And, it was pretty easy to make. Thank you so much for all of your recipes!

  2. This cake has become a Christmas tradition! My husband and I love making it for dessert after Christmas dinner. It is so delicious!

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! I’m so thrilled you and your husband love the cake!

  3. Excellent recipe! Will definitely make this again for the holidays next year. I don’t like coffee, so I used hot water instead, as Nora recommended in the comments. I made these into cupcakes so I could split them up for 2 different holiday gatherings. They were a hit! (For those that like mint+chocolate, turns out there are a lot of folks that don’t like that combo). This recipe yielded 24 cupcakes for me. It’s a keeper. Thank you!!

    1. You are welcome, Krisha! I’m thrilled that you loved the cake! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

    2. Hi Krishna, my daughter in law named Krysi made this cake for Christmas this year, too. I totally love chocolate mint so I was in 7th heaven. Hubby was amazed by it as well. But, the caffeine from the coffee in the batter kept us awake past 2 AM. It was amazingly moist, which I told my daughter in law, who said it was because of the coffee, which also enhances the flavor of chocolate. If I ever make this cake I’d use decaf or just plain water. We sure enjoyed every bite, so delicious!! The bomb!! But, we sure were sleep-deprived the next day. Lol 🥱

  4. Made this phenomenal cake and served it to the family yesterday. Tremendous hit; so moist and flavorful and so very easy to make. Question: could you make cupcakes with the same recipe and if so, do you know about how many regular sized cupcakes it would make?

    1. Yes, they can be made into cupcakes. Fill liners half full and bake for 20-25 minutes. The whole recipe will yield approximately 24 cupcakes. Glad you loved the cake! Thanks for your fabulous review!

  5. I made this for Christmas for a house full of non-vegans and everyone raved. Thanks so much for such an excellent recipe!

    1. Hi Brooke. There is no need to refrigerate the cake, but sometimes I do because I love how it tastes cold for some reason. 🙂 Refrigerating it will also help it last just a little longer as well. But if it will be eaten within 2-3 days, room temperature is fine. Happy baking!

  6. I am enamored with this recipe and want to try making it as a cake roll! Too crazy? Any suggestions before I get started?

    1. I’m not totally sure, but hopefully it will work! I haven’t tried it. They can be a bit fussy but I bet it will work. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. How strong is the coffee/mocha taste? If I have a kiddo who does not like the taste of coffee, do you think they would still enjoy this?

    1. It’s not very strong but sometimes I use just boiled water instead (like in my chocolate cake recipe) and it works perfectly.

    1. Hi Meg. . I have not tested this gluten free, however, the recipe should work well with a quality gluten free flour. I like Bob’s 1:1 gluten free flour, and have received comments that it has worked well for them. Enjoy the cake!

  8. I’ve made this cake several times and everyone loves it. I’m wondering if it can be made into cupcakes? I’m going to a Christmas party and think cupcakes would be easier to bring. I didn’t see anywhere adjustments for cupcakes.

    Thank you

    1. Oh yeah, they can be made into cupcakes. Fill liners half full and bake for 20-25 minutes. The whole recipe will yield approximately 24 cupcakes.

  9. Hi Nora! I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but plan on making it for my father in law’s birthday next weekend. Do you have a mocha frosting recipe by any chance?

    1. I can’t wait for you to try it! I don’t have a mocha frosting, but I do have a chocolate buttercream recipe that can be made into mocha frosting. Try mixing in up to 1 tablespoon of espresso powder as you’re making it.

  10. I just made this for my birthday and it turned out great!
    It’s a little on the sweet side for me, so I was wondering for when I make this next time, can I just leave out a part of the sugar? Or should I substitute it with something else? I was thinking maybe some extra flour since the batter is quite runny. Thanks so much for the lovely recipe!

  11. This is the best cake. Vegans and non-vegans alike adore this cake. Moist, delicious. The peppermint is a nice holiday touch – we have enjoyed this two Christmases running and now consider it a tradition. Try it – you will not be disappointed!!!!

    1. Hi Lori. How fun this cake is now a tradition for your family! I’m thrilled that everyone loves it! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review!

  12. Omg! This was a big hit on our Christmas this year! Everyone loved this, vegans and non vegans alike. This cake was so tasty, rich, pretty and easy to make. Thank you Nora! Happy Holidays ✨

    1. You are welcome! We love this cake at our house as well! I’m thrilled the cake was a hit for your Christmas! Thank you for sharing your terrific feedback! Happy holidays to you as well!

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